Trade Show Apps: Badge Scanner vs. Mobile Sales Apps

By | iPad Trade Show
Updated August 2017 – Trade Show App: Badge Scanners vs. Mobile Sales Apps

We spend a lot of time working closely with trade show managers and Marketers to help them deploy trade show apps to improve the QUALITY of leads captured.

For the most part, these trade show apps are simplified version of mobile sales app used by sales teams everyday.

This concept has seen a huge up tick for us in the last 6-8months as more and more folks are seeking solutions that are fully integrated into their Marketing Tech stacks.

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win more sales with mobile sales tools

5 Reasons It’s Time to Use Tablets as Power Sales Tools

By | Business Mobility, iPad Trade Show, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

It looks like a wave of tablets could be hitting the workforce sometime soon. If Forrester’s predictions are on target, tablet sales will climb to 381 million annually by 2017 — up from from 122 million in 2012. And enterprises will account for 68 million — or one-fifth — of those yearly sales.

But just because “everyone else” seems to be using tablets doesn’t mean your sales team should have them. It’s hardly the argument you want to present to your CEO or CFO about taking the plunge to put a tablet in each of your sales reps’ hands.

Following are 5 solid reasons on how the use of tablets, and their accompanying apps, could drive productivity and boost sales at your company. Because, after all, those are the types of results that will make the investment in these mobile devices worth it. Check out how they can work for your sales team during trade shows and other presentations.

  1. Tablets are highly portable. Tablets are less cumbersome than laptops, allowing your sales reps to easily transport the devices while they’re out in the field. Also, because of the digital nature of these devices, they’re not weighed down by print materials. Also, unlike a laptop, sales reps will have no problem carrying it around all day during calls or at a trade show.
  1. Tablets streamline your processes. With the addition of apps, tablets enable your team to significantly cut down on the amount of time devoted to completing steps in the sales process — from presentations and gathering sales collateral to accessing documents that require signatures.
  1. They’re ideal show-and-tell tools. One thing that remains constant in the ever-changing sales and marketing industry is that, at some point, you will need to make a presentation to prospects or current clients. You can fool around with trying to hook up a presentation to a monitor — or you could prop up a tablet on a stand and quickly start the presentation during your meetings. You also can let a prospect feel in control by handing off the presentation for them to review from your tablet.
  1. Tablets are user-friendly. The adoption rate for using tablets as sales tools, based on our experiences, is typically shorter. They are designed to be intuitive. By simply tapping buttons, sales reps and their marketing colleagues can easily access the information they need to make pitches and presentations. With simple-to-use features, the overall cost of training and support are significantly reduced.
  1. Tablets save on print costs. Companies that have adopted tablets have realized significant cost savings on printing and shipping costs. United Airlines demonstrated the potential cost savings with its adoption of the iPad to replace flight manuals. Joe Burns, Managing Director of Technology and Flight Test for United, said, “With iPad we’re able to save 16 million sheets of paper a year. Just removing the weight of that paper works out to 326,000 gallons of fuel saved per year.” While the impact may not be as great in other industries, it’s not hard to see how you can save on printing costs associated with paper catalogs, sales brochures, and flyers that way too often end up in the trash at a conference.

Here’s the bottom line

These are just among 5 of the reasons that companies are switching to tablets as power sales tools — and, as a result, realizing gains in productivity and sales and a reduction in overall expenses.

Over the years, we have seen firsthand how putting information and selling tools at sales reps’ fingertips can increase the speed, quality and, at the end of the day, the overall success of the sales process.

3 Ways to Increase Trade Show ROI

By | iPad Trade Show, Selling Tips, Video Tips

Matt Hill, Andy Paul, Craig Elias, and me, Rusty Bishop; three heavy hitters in the world of selling and trade show coaching and one iPad sales app guy (me) on one webinar. Here’s just a few of the topics that were covered.

  • Pre-Show Preparation
  • Should we have a “give-away”
  • Motivating Sales People that don’t want to be there
  • Ipads as a booth qualifying tool
  • Tips to ensure hot leads are followed up with immediately
  • 3 iPad mistakes in the booth
  • Using technical people in the booth

How to Save Your iPad’s Battery Life

By | iPad Trade Show

If you use iPad sales apps to help you sell, you know how easy the iPad makes it for you to engage customers, share content, access products and more – especially at the point of sale at trade shows or in your daily calls.

The following video was made to help you design iPad training for sales teams.

Additional videos in this series can be found on our Resources for iPad Business Apps page.

In this video, we provide some tips on how your team can save their battery life on their iPad during the course of a long selling day or trade show situation. You can use the transcript below to create some exercises for the team during a National Sales Meeting or regional training exercise.


The great thing about the iPad is that it has 10 hours of battery life. Which is enough to run most apps a sales rep needs.  But, it takes a long time to charge. And you don’t want to be caught in an important sales meeting with a dead iPad.

So our first recommendation is that you just plug your iPad in at night. Plugging it in, in the morning for a few hours or trying to use a car charger just won’t cut it. We understand that you may need to squeeze a few more minutes out of your iPad during a long day of sales calls.  Here are some tips that can save you in a pinch and help you make it through the last call of your day.

First, if you’re not using your iPad, save some battery by just hitting the power button to quickly turn it off. This will power down your screen, save you some battery, and when you’re ready to use it again, you can just hit the home button, or quickly hit the power button again, and your iPad will be ready to go.

If you still want to use your iPad, but don’t need wireless access, another tip is that you can switch your iPad to airplane mode. To do this, just tap on the Settings icon, go to Airplane Mode at the top left, tap that to On, and then you should see an airplane icon in the top left of your iPad.

If you have the 3G version if the iPad, keep in mind that it acts like a cell phone in this mode, so it’s constantly searching for cellular signal.  If you can use a local WiFi connection, or don’t need internet access, go ahead and turn off your 3G.  To do this, just tap on your Settings icon again, then tap on Cellular Data, and turn off your 3G by tapping Off. You should no longer see the 3G symbol in the upper left of your iPad and if you’re connected to the local WiFi, you should see a fan.

Remember, you won’t be able to use your iPad as an effective sales tool unless you have power whenever you need it. So thanks for joining us. And we hope these tips help you sell your products more effectively with your iPad.

trade show gold

Trade Show Sales App is a Gold Mine for ROI

By | iPad Trade Show

Members of our Customer Success Team are hitting the exhibit hall trail with customers helping with their trade show sales app.

At each show they attend, they report back to us the same surprising trend performed by many of the other exhibiting companies: Most companies are still handwriting orders on paper.

It’s abundantly clear many companies that heavily rely on trade shows for sales and lead generation have not discovered the benefits of utilizing a trade show sales app.

Many companies today have a CRM, like or Microsoft Dynamics.

Most are already using marketing automation like Marketo.

Why in the world would sales reps in a trade show booth still jot down order information on a glorified contact form?

Since you already have a pencil and paper out for handwriting those orders, let’s see just how much time is wasted by not using a trade show sales app.

Paper Order Forms vs. Trade Show Sales App

If it takes on average five minutes to complete a handwritten order, and 500 orders are collected at the show, that equals 2,500 minutes.

That’s more than 40 hours.

That’s more than an entire work week of taking orders.

Hope your company has great medical benefits because that’s a lot of hand cramping.

But the fun isn’t over just yet.

Now your sales and shipping departments have to decipher what the order reads through smears and coffee stains.

The rep was in such a hurry to finish writing this order, now even he can’t read the customer’s credit card number or phone number to call him back for confirmation.

Is the product in stock? Maybe it was last week at the show, but now you’re on backorder.

You’re adding more time to fulfilling these orders by not using a trade show sales app.

FatStax allows companies to easily search for and share their products and collateral that prospects need in real time from just a couple taps on their iPad sales app. We have many customers that have experienced results using FatStax in their trade show booths.

In fact, we used our very own trade show sales app at Dreamforce to gather leads.

FatStax is capable of real-time communication with prospects via the iPad coupled to marketing automation. Bottom line, it nets big results.

The benefits of a trade show sales app are it will save you hours of post show work typing information into a CRM leaving prospects assigned properly and ready to have conversations, receive orders, and begin nurturing for future sales.

FatStax Speaking At Marketo Summit 2014 Next Week

By | iPad Trade Show

FatStax is off to rub shoulders with the best marketing minds at Marketo Summit 2014 in San Francisco April 7-9.

In addition to exhibiting and showing off FatStax at Marketo Marketing Nation Summit 2014 (we might have some free giveaways at our booth wink wink), our co-founder Dr. Rusty Bishop will be speaking during one of the many session.

Rusty will speak during the LaunchPoint – Extending the Power of the Marketo Digital Marketing Platform session on Wednesday, April 9 at 2:00 p.m. in rooms 2018-2020.

The focus of the session is to show how other platforms, like FatStax, can build stronger customer relationships and make marketing programs more effective when implemented with Marketo.

Be sure to add this session to your Marketo Summit 2014 agenda here.

FatStax is the perfect way to generate leads and share marketing collateral at trade shows, just like Marketo Summit 2014. Check out our own results from a previous Dreamforce conference tying together our CRM, Marketo marketing automation, and FatStax in our booth.

If you’re heading out to Marketo Summit 2014, we’ll see you there!

iPad Trade Show – 5 Mistakes

By | iPad Trade Show

We spend a ton of time with our customers supporting their use of iPads in the trade show booth. Over the years, we have seen it all and written several articles based on those experiences. You might call this one update tips for iPads at trade shows.

iPads are everywhere at trade shows these days. Whether it’s as a sales tool in sales reps hands, on a stand showing videos, or a embedded in elaborate booth structures, Trade Show Managers are definitely embracing the iPad to qualify leads and grab attention. Depending on where you are in the process of iPad deployment for your company, we recommend you check out Why companies deploy iPads? or the Guide to Launching iPads; two free ebooks that will get you primed and ready.

In the past month, Jesse, Justin, and I have attended trade shows in five different industries from Industrial Water to Food Safety to Financial Services. We were amazed to see many individual sales reps with iPads and had the opportunity to see a lot of iPads in the booths. Unfortunately, many sales reps and booths were simply not prepared to use them to their maximum potential.

If you are planning on rolling them out at your next event, don’t make these 5 iPad trade show mistakes. Read More

Why are Companies Buying iPads for Field Reps? 5 Simple Reasons.

By | iPad Trade Show

Depending on where your company is in the process of deploying iPads, we recommend starting with Why companies deploy iPads? or the Guide to Launching iPads; two free ebooks that will get you primed and ready.

Last week, we visited a large trade show (in Houston) and had dozens of discussions with companies about the iPad and how they are using them, especially in the field. The question we asked them point blank was: Why?

Why are companies buying iPads for field reps?

Our (admittedly unscientific) results were echoed again and again…

  1. Size
  2. Screen
  3. Ease of Use
  4. Sharing
  5. Saving Print Budget

So let’s dig in a bit…

5 reasons companies are buying iPads for field reps and trade shows


1. Companies are buying iPads because they are the perfect size to carry

iPads are not too big and not too small. The device is like carrying another file folder or legal notepad – not a big deal. Unlike a laptop that’s heavy, it’s easy to hold in your hand all day long at a trade show.

2. Companies are buying iPads because the screen is easy to see and share

Presentations, one-on-one discussions, email communications are all really easy to see on the iPad screen while sharing. The retina display is just so dang clear, it’s awesome.

It’s the quality of the iPad screen that invites a side-by-side, one-on-one discussion. (Though, is it just me or is it really difficult to tap in the proper place when looking at the iPad upside down?)

3. Companies are buying iPads because they not too technical

We hear complaints from “technophiles” that you can’t do all the same things on the iPad as on a computer. While this is true, the simplicity of tapping to access information and not having to locate files actually makes life a bit easier for reps and their marketing friends in the trade show booth, too.

Information served up in apps is also a bit more intuitive. Why? Apps are usually related to a specific set of tasks and functions which match up much better in real-time customer interactions. For example,  searching for a product, sending marketing collateral or locating a support link or document is more straightforward when using an app than when using your laptop.

In addition, there is less training needed. Whose kids are not playing games on iPads all day long? I watched a 4 year-old find a game in the App Store,  install it and start playing without parent intervention (ok, that brings up other issues). The point is that this intuitiveness reduces the overall cost of training and support.

4. Companies are buying iPads because they drive Instant Responses

The folks we talked with at the meeting loved the instant response of the iPad. Customers and booth visitors are generally impatient. Speed matters (check out a related post, The Competitive Advantage of Speed in Sales).

Here are the buzz words we heard:

  • “Instant-on”
  • “Single tap to open apps”
  • “Ability to do a task quickly matters, especially when you are doing a lot of those routine tasks”
  • “If you make a mistake (hit the wrong icon for instance) you don’t have to wait long to correct it”

5. Companies are buying iPads because they save print costs

Some companies see the iPad as a quick way to accomplish another key goal, reducing printing and shipping costs. There are an incredible number of paper catalogs, sales brochures, and flyers that ended up in the trash at the conference. As a testament to how fast some businesses move these days, some printed materials actually never see the light of day before they are obsolete.

Additionally, marketers complained about the shipping costs of paper to a geographically-dispersed sales force or to trade shows/conferences. Viewing and sharing PDFs and PowerPoint slide decks on the iPad is a welcome alternative to printing and handing out brochures.

Would you like a 50% reduction in print budget?  Me too. Additionally, it fits well with many environmental initiatives for companies.

The Bottom Line on Companies Buying iPads for Field Teams

Companies value each of these factors differently. However, those investigating the iPad and iPad sales apps see the potential for the sales reps and marketing teams to produce more sales, reduce expenses or both. We saw firsthand the impact of having information and selling tools at sales reps’ fingertips can do to increase the speed, quality, and ultimately, success of the sales process.

What are the key reasons your company is finding to launch iPad sales tools to the field?

Can you Send Branded Emails from an iPad?

By | Business Mobility, iPad Trade Show, Mobile Productivity Tools

Can you send fully branded emails from your iPad? We get this question a lot from Marketers that are tired of the boring emails generated by most Apps on the iPad.

For this reason, we recently added CSS to FatStax allowing our users to create beautiful multi-layered emails that can be sent directly to prospects from the iPad. The results speak for themselves.

Most emails sent from the iPad look something like this…click on it too see detail.

This email I generated using Dropbox to send a PPT to someone.  Its flat and boring, but it gets the job done.  This is what Fatstax emails used to look like, too. So we know that we aren’t perfect either.

But with CSS and FatStax you can send collateral to your prospects that looks like this… click on it too see detail.

enterprise mobility email

Fully Branded iPad Email

This is an example of a FatStax Branded email we used at the Marketo Summit to send collateral to prospects from the booth.  The header of the email has an image and a CSS image underneath it to give it a 3D appearance.  To me its a lot more appealing and really show cased our brand at the conference.

Let’s break down the components. The underlying image is created with CSS to give the email the faded background.  Without the top image, it looks like this in the iPad app.  Click on it too see detail.

enterprise mobility branded email

the underlayer of the CSS Branded Email

Then you add the header image to create the fully branded “3D-looking” email to be sent from the iPad.  The header image will sit over the top of the CSS image like this…click on it too see detail.

enterprise mobility branded email iPad

Two layer branded iPad Email from FatStax

The result is a really nice looking email that can adjusted to fit your brand.  We think it makes your iPad sales app much more well, yours!

If you’d like to learn how to add a branded email to your enterprise mobility app, shoot us a note via the Contact Us link, or talk to your Customer Success Manager.

A Very Interesting Moment: Going Mobile with Marketing Automation & Bridging the Gap Between Marketing & Sales

By | B2B Sales, Business Mobility, iPad Trade Show, Marketing Automation, Mobile Productivity Tools, Sales Productivity

Marketing used to be a one-way street. Your marketing communications strategy consisted of printing brochures, mailing flyers, writing catalogs and even launching a (mostly static) website. Through demographic analysis and surveys you identified potential customers, but salespeople still had an advantage. Salespeople who interacted with prospects could directly observe behaviors and pick up on subtle cues. The best salespeople used that real-time feedback to fine-tune their sales pitches and close deals.

We need to start closing the gap between marketing and sales for the best results. Customers no longer wait around for a salesperson to contact them. By the time they meet a salesperson, they’ve probably already close to making their decision. Instead, they are interacting directly with marketers through product reviews, social media comments, location check-ins, marketing automation and targeted content.

Does this change the role of the salesperson?

A salesperson may find that more persuasion and education happens nowadays BEFORE they meet a prospect. If marketing is doing more to warm-up leads, then sales will close more deals faster. In turn, salespeople can help speed up the cycle by sending more leads and “interesting moments” to marketing for nurturing campaigns.

Every day, salespeople come across leads during real-world, face-to-face interactions: on elevators, during business flights, over coffee, at a tradeshow. These situations or interesting moments don’t always warrant powering up the laptop and establishing network connectivity. They may warrant a handshake and business card swap. But, following up on leads is not a field salesperson’s primary focus. A salesperson wants to close sales. However, those fleeting interactions are marketing gold.

As marketing professionals are nurturing leads through marketing automation closer and closer to the sales tipping point, sales can help feed the sales funnel for marketing automation programs. And the cycle continues.

Enterprise mobility provides huge opportunities for salespeople to quickly and efficiently capture information about new leads. When they do, using an iPad with the right sales tool can make that information instantly available to marketing. No duplicate data entry. No extra meetings. No surveys to complete. Enterprise mobility and the iPad are transforming how sales and marketing professionals do their jobs well.

Marketing Automation Goes Mobile

Worldwide, mobile salespeople are adopting the iPad to varying degrees. As a marketing professional, you can use this to your advantage. Imagine the salesperson’s iPad as your doorway to mobile marketing automation.  Think of them as a web capture form in the field with their iPads. All the right marketing collateral and content, approved by marketing, is contained on that a  salesperson iPad  – ready to go.

What if marketing could create an interesting moment—the point in time when an interested consumer takes action—in the sales field while face-to-face with a salesperson? Until now, marketing automation has been mostly limited to web and email marketing.  But now, with an iPad coupled with marketing automation, it’s not only possible, but it creates a whole new channel for bringing in new leads that can instantly be inserted in to pre-set nurturing campaigns.

Marketers are only beginning to imagine the possibilities for face-to-face interesting moments. An interaction that would have ended with a tattered business card at the bottom of a briefcase could now become a warm lead ripe for nurturing through a marketing automation campaign.

Beyond a Handshake

With the right apps, the iPad’s ubiquitous usability can further erase disconnects between sales and marketing operations. Field sales people can use the iPad as a lead generating tool—even during the most casual, face-to-face interactions. Random acquaintances can become potential new customers when the salesperson uses the iPad to document leads, capture the interesting moments and communicate back to marketing—all in real time.

Dynamic, Mobile Marketing Materials

By integrating marketing automation with your iPad, you’ll get real-time feedback on the effectiveness of your marketing assets and discover, via the field sales rep, the content and campaigns that works best to convert your audience into customers. You don’t have to wait for a monthly meeting where sales gives feedback to marketing or just points the finger. You will see interesting moments as they occur in the sales field.  That saves time, money and brings sales and marketing together.

Think about how you can extend the principles of marketing automation into the sales field and close the gap between marketing and sales. As mobile technology and mobile sales tools continues to evolve, marketing and sales can discover more ways to work smarter—together, producing better results.

With this overlap in roles, marketing teams will benefit from the nuances of a salesperson’s personal interactions and sales people will benefit from better nurture campaigns, facilitated through marketing automation, providing better support, so sales can stay focused and win more deals!

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